Die Deutschen Inschriften

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Die Deutschen Inschriften des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit (DI) (engl.: The German Inscriptions of Medieval and Early Modern Times) is one of the oldest modern endeavours to collect and redact medieval and early modern inscriptions in Europe. The project was instituted by the German linguist Friedrich Panzer (Heidelberg) in association with the historians Karl Brandi (Göttingen) and Hans Hirsch (Vienna) as an interacademic venture of epigraphical publication in 1934. Encompassed are inscriptions ranging from the Early Middle Ages to the year of 1650 (and later on) localized in the areas that are today known as the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Austria and South Tyrol. By now the epigraphical research centers involved have published 81 volumes. An individual volume contains usually the inscriptions of a single city or Landkreis respectively called Politischer Bezirk in Austria. The venture is supported by the German Academies of Sciences in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Göttingen, Heidelberg, Leipzig, Mainz and München as well as the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. The Reichert-Verlag is the publishing house of the scientific editions.

Deutsche Inschriften Online (DIO)[edit]

The project "Deutsche Inschriften Online" (engl.: German Inscriptions Online) was planned and implemented as an interacademic venture by the Academies of Sciences in Mainz and Göttingen. The project's aim was to digitise the volumes DI 66/45/56/58/61 and make them available online. The realisation is based on a database which was developed by the Inscription-offices in Greifswald and Mainz. The venture has an innovative character. It is a broadening of the project "Inschriften Mittelrhein-Hunsrück (IMH)" (engl.: Inscriptions of the Middlerhine-Hunsrück) conducted in 2008 in cooperation with the "Institut für Geschichtliche Landeskunde an der Universität Mainz" (engl.: Institute for Regional History located at the University of Mainz). The project digitised the volume "Die Inschriften des Rhein-Hunsrück Kreises I (DI 60)" (engl.: The Inscriptions of the Rhine-Hunsrück District) edited by epigraphist Eberhard J. Nikitsch. In the meantime the website of the IMH-Project has merged into the DIO-Web portal. There is a long term plan for digitising and making available online further volumes; and well as providing an English translation of the DIO-Website.

Besides the digitalized scientific volumes DIO features; an advanced search interface; information concerning epigraphy; a numbers of regular series, on topics such as "Epigraphischer Tipp" (engl.: Epigraphical Hint) and "Inschrift im Fokus" (engl.: Focused on Inscription); a glossary; and a list of topical weblinks. In addition the site presents a wide range of photographic images and illustrations of inscriptions or similar objects as a means of interlinking all possible information.

Currently there are 30 volumes available on the database, including more than 11,000 items and more than 11,000 illustrations and photographs.[1] These are the following volumes:

Other collaborative projects[edit]

The team responsible for the DIO archive has also launched the online publication of a database of inscriptions in the “German national church” Santa Maria dell’Anima in Rome. This database contains inscriptions dating from mediaeval times to 1559; it was published in collaboration with the German Historical Institute in Rome. Another interdisciplinary project closely related to DIO is St. Stephen virtual, a project run jointly by several institutes and academic departments in Mainz. Its goal was to make information from the database accessible to the general public by simulating a "virtual visit" of the interior cloister of St. Stephen's Church, Mainz.

The aim of the project Referenzkorpus historischer Texte des Deutschen (Engl. linguistic corpus of German language texts) is to annotate the grammatical structure of texts. It is planned to make the annotated texts available online within the Referenzkorpus Deutsche Inschriften (Engl. linguistic corpus of German inscriptions), with an estimated 400,000 annotated word forms.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 4170 catalogue items and 4000 images could be terieved in May 2011. Schrade, Epigraphik im digitalen Umfeld, Paragraph 2.
  2. ^ Lkr. or Landkreis denotes an administrative district in Germany.
  3. ^ The DIO prefix denotes either digital catalogues or catalogues not published within the DI-series.
  4. ^ Webseite ReDI project (Uni Bochum) (14. März 2014).


German Inscriptions (DI)[edit]

  • Karl Brandi: Grundlegung einer deutschen Inschriftenkunde (Engl. foundation of a lore of German epigraphy). In: Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters Bd. 1 (1937) S. 11-43.
  • Ernst Cucuel: Das deutsche Inschriftenwerk der vereinigten Akademien, seine Aufgaben, Ziele und Methoden (Eng. the German epigraphical opus of the united Academies of Sciences, its tasks, goals and method). In: Blätter für deutsche Landesgeschichte Bd. 85 (1939) S. 116-134.
  • Deutsche Inschriften. Terminologie zur Schriftbeschreibung (Engl. German inscriptions. Terminology for the description of epigraphical scriptures). Erarb. von den Mitarb. der Inschriftenkommission der Akademien der Wissenschaften in Berlin. Wiesbaden 1999.
  • Rudolf Maria Kloos: Die deutschen Inschriften (Engl. the German inscriptions). In: Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters Bd. 15 (1959) S. 177–181.
  • Rudolf Maria Kloos: Die Deutschen Inschriften. Ein Bericht über das deutsche Inschriftenunternehmen (Engl. the German inscriptions. Memorandum on the German epigraphical enterprise). In: Studi medievali Ser. 3, Bd. 14 (1973) S. 335-362.
  • Eberhard J. Nikitsch: Fritz V. Arens als Mainzer Inschriftensammler und Epigraphiker (Engl. Fritz V. Arens as collector of inscriptions in Mainz and epigraph). In: Mainzer Zeitschrift Bd. 103 (2008) S. 231-243.
  • Friedrich Panzer: Die Inschriften des deutschen Mittelalters. Ein Aufruf zu ihrer Sammlung und Bearbeitung (Engl. Inscriptions of the German Middle Ages. Appeal for collecting and editing). Im Auftrage der Akademien der Wissenschaften von Berlin, Göttingen, Heidelberg, Leipzig, München und Wien verfasst. Leipzig 1938.

German Inscriptions Online (DIO)[edit]

External links[edit]

German Inscriptions (DI)[edit]

Projects of Cooperation[edit]